Osprey survey the marsh from their secure high perch.

Osprey survey the marsh from their secure high perch.

From stately cedars to rocky caves, God provides shelter. We can look to nature to see the amazing variety of refuge He offers.

For example, osprey perch high in cypress trees near lakes and marshes. They nest in large structures made of branches, sticks, grasses and moss. The birds return to nesting sites and add on during the years.

“Osprey can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter—easily big enough for a human to sit in,” according to The Cornell Lab All About Birds.

While much space is necessary for these raptors whose wings can span five feet from one tip to the other, purple martins prefer “condo” living. This highly social swallow zips up and down in the sky like a fighter jet. Adult purple martins weigh only a couple ounces and prefer ready-made housing.

Despite their tiny size, purple martins have endurance. They migrate back and forth from wintering in the Amazon basin to breeding in North America. This twice-annual journey crosses thousands of miles.

Purple martins eat on the fly and scoop up insects in the air. They also make graceful swoops to skim sips of water from lake surfaces.

Osprey prefer live fish. Oils on these large birds’ wings protect them as they plunge in shallow waters to hunt. Both purple martins and osprey rely on God’s provision, as do we.

We can marvel at the extent of His creativity ensuring all His beloved are cared for. Even in flight, we can count on finding a safe place to roost with Him.

Today’s Bible verse:

“Splendor and majesty are before the Lord; strength and glory are in his sanctuary” Psalm 96:6 NIV.

Information about Tracy L. Smoak’s Bible study “Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place” can be viewed under the Bible Study tab in the header.

Her nature art photography and short devotions can be viewed at:



Bird Resources:

The Cornell Lab All About Birds: Osprey



The Cornell Lab All About Birds: Purple Martin https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purple_Martin/overview#


Purple Martin Conservation Association



YouTube link uploaded 2/23/23  https://youtu.be/KR32hDLUk10